Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A fist fight, a snowstorm, a stolen kiss in the barn… and a second chance at love.
Ford Nixel has two law offices, two fancy condominiums, and all the right connections. In short, he has everything he wants.
The last thing he needs is his Uncle Ty’s stake in the Leaning N, a ranch that’s been in the family for generations. Ford hasn’t even been to the ranch in over a decade, not since he left his boyfriend Stoney behind and headed back to college alone.
Ford arrives at the Leaning N to find Stoney, now a single father, right where he left him. A fist fight, a snowstorm, and a stolen kiss in the barn later—Ford knows none of the heat between them has dissipated.
Dreamspun Desires and B.A. Tortuga! A combination I wouldn’t have thought would have worked and yet its a winner across the boards. Using the lovers reunited trope, Tortuga uses the potential loss of the family ranch to bring lawyer Ford Nixel back home to a ranch he hasn’t seen in over 10 years and the man he loved and lost.
Its a premise guaranteed to draw a reader in and it does so here. In Commitment Ranch (Leaning N #1) by B.A.Tortuga, the author uses her considerable skills of characterization to set down her MCs from (as she would say) the get go. The readers get a quick look see at Ford Nixel’s world and understand the hardworking, loner he’s become. I wanted to know more about the man, so wrapped up that personal time is low on his priorities. And when the phone call comes from his Uncle Ty, things start falling into place for the reader and Ford.
Tortuga is a wonderful storyteller. Her narrative unfolds at a pace that lets our curiosity build along with our affection for the characters as we meet them. When the story’s location transfers to that of the Leaning N Ranch and Stony (and family), meeting him, his adorable boy, the chef…all those people have their own revelations and histories. It’s like walking into a place and being welcomed. You take it all in, while being there, absorbing pieces of each of them, while focused on the main romance and trials of Ford and Smokey.
That romance! Its a torturous bunch of misunderstandings, some of which I never quite understood myself. That would be the Uncle’s part in it. Never did get that. But the way in which each man had to work through their misgivings, past histories, and issues of trust? Believable and got straight to my heart. The health problems with the uncle, along with the special needs of the child? All handled with a light, caring hand that worked beautifully within the story without weighing it down. Plus I loved that ranch. I could see that working ranch and the people who helped run it in my head so clearly that I was ready to book a week for myself.
There are, as with every Tortuga novel, wonderfully layered secondary characters and potential couples. As this is the first in a series, I am wondering which and where the next book will take us. The Leaning N Ranch is open for business. Its first story was a terrific romance. I can’t wait to see what the second one brings. I absolutely recommend Commitment Ranch (Leaning N #1) by B.A. Tortuga.
Cover art by Paul Richmond. Another terrific cover in the Dreamspun Desires group.
ebook, 250 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634773683 (ISBN13: 9781634773683)
SeriesLeaning N #1